Sonnet 1:  Ode to my Garden

(With a little help from Elizabeth Barrett Browning….

but my iambic pentameter and stanza are a little off)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth of my countless bags of composted

My roots feel free to grow and don’t feel hurt.

For your pretty flowers and green leaves.

For the vines of cucumbers that roam free

To the height of tomatoes that have outgrown me

I love to water you every single day

And watch the way you absorb sun rays.

I love thee for the veggies that you grow.

And for the soil you allow me to sow.

For reminding me of generations, who gardened and taught me well.

Giving me veggies too good to sell.

I love thee more than I’d ever had to guess

And I’m grateful to you for giving me your best

Did you know Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a gardener?  (I think I just made that up…yep…that is not true but I hope some kid uses it in a biography one day just to site me as resource.)  She had a very green thumb.  (Probably also not true.)  She would sit in her garden and look at the flowers and ponder her next poem. (That might be true….poets like to ponder…that IS a known fact.)

Honestly, I didn’t realize until writing this post that I was thinking about Elizabeth Barrett Browning….I thought it was Shakespeare.  I was going to write a huge long blog on poetry and the numbering system in sonnets but got very overwhelmed….quickly.

There is a lot more to this whole poetry thing than “what rhymes with Barb.”  (For the record, not much rhymes with Barb….my husband wrote me a poem when we were dating…it isn’t appropriate for my family friendly blog…it involves not wearing garb if that gives you clue as to the theme.)

I had always thought the numbers in sonnets were part of an ego thing between poets.  Kind of like a competition…. Shakespeare could say I just wrote sonnet 66….BOOM….Top that!  But then another sonneteer (which is actually a word) would say I’m on my 90th sonnet….how do you like them apples, Shakespeare?  (Sonneteers are not known for their witty comebacks…that is also a fact.)

From the 5 minutes of research that I just performed, I guess the number of the sonnet is supposed to be place in a story that the sonnet fits.  Does that make sense?  I guess it is like some big puzzle.

Now part of me wants to go back try to understand the sequencing the science of a sonnet but the other part of me is good with just a taste of this knowledge.  Sometimes just appreciating the poetry as is instead of analyzing it is the whole point.

Kind of like summer vegetables…. The produce that comes from summer gardens probably is some of my favorite because of its simplicity.   (I may not know poetry but I am a master of segues!!!!) 

I made the following pasta dish with Mother Nature’s version of poetry and after you try it you might want to write a poem about it.

First Summer Harvest Pasta Sauce


3 Japanese Eggplants (If you use an Italian Eggplant, 1 should be enough)

2 zucchini

1 red pepper

1 sweet onion

8 cloves garlic unpeeled

A rosemary sprig or two

4 ounces prosciutto

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

4 roma tomatoes, rough chop

Handful of fresh basil, torn

Olive oil

Good salt


Oven at 375, prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper

Chop the eggplants, zucchini, red pepper and onions into equal size pieces

Toss with olive oil.

Spread them onto the 2 baking sheets and divide the unpeeled garlic and rosemary between the two pans and give them a light sprinkle of salt.

Roast for 20 minutes and then stir.

Roast another 15-20 minutes until they get a little bit of a char on them.  (Or done to your liking.)

While that is cooking, crisp up the prosciutto in a fry pan.

Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan as the prosciutto cooked, add the tomatoes and the chopped garlic.

Let it simmer on low/medium.  Give it a taste…it might need a little salt but remember the prosciutto is salty and you will be adding that back later.

Ding.  The other veggies are done.  Pick out the unpeeled garlic and rosemary.  (Smear that on some bread when no one is looking.)

Toss the roasted veggies in with the tomatoes and add the basil.

I used this sauce on a package of cooked cheese tortellini (14 ounce)

Top with a big chunk of prosciutto and some parm.

Trust me….this will taste like poetry!!!